The Girl Next Door (2004 film)

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The Girl Next Door
Girl Next Door movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLuke Greenfield
Produced byHarry Gittes
Charles Gordon
Marc Sternberg
Screenplay byStuart Blumberg
David T. Wagner
Brent Goldberg
Luke Greenfield (uncredited)
Chris McKenna (uncredited)[1]
Story byDavid T. Wagner
Brent Goldberg
StarringEmile Hirsch
Elisha Cuthbert
Timothy Olyphant
James Remar
Chris Marquette
Paul Dano
Music byPaul Haslinger
CinematographyJamie Anderson
Edited byMark Livolsi
Regency Enterprises
New Regency
Epsilon Motion Pictures
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • April 9, 2004 (2004-04-09)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$20–21 million[2][3]
Box office$30.4 million[4]

The Girl Next Door is a 2004 American romantic comedy film about a high school senior who falls in love for the first time with the girl next door, but finds the situation becoming complicated after he learns that she is a former pornographic actress. It stars Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert, Timothy Olyphant, James Remar, Chris Marquette and Paul Dano and is directed by Luke Greenfield. Despite mixed reviews and low theatrical attendance at the time[5] it has gained the status of a cult classic over the years.[5][6][7][8]


Ambitious high school senior Matthew Kidman has been accepted to Georgetown University, but cannot afford the tuition. He has raised $25,000 in order to bring a brilliant Cambodian student, Samnang, to study in the United States, but finds little else truly memorable about his high school experience. His life suddenly changes when a beautiful new neighbor, Danielle, moves in next door. Matthew witnesses her undressing from his bedroom window, until she sees him and storms over, knocking on the door and introducing herself to his parents. They suggest to Matthew that he show Danielle around town.

Matthew and Danielle bond through a series of flirtatious dares, including one that culminates with the two skinny dipping in Matthew’s principal’s swimming pool. At a raucous party thrown by a classmate, Matthew finally finds the courage to kiss Danielle. She is receptive, and they become a couple of sorts. The next day, Matthew’s reverie is shattered when his friend Eli informs him that Danielle is an adult film actress.

On Eli's advice, a still-stunned Matthew takes Danielle to a sleazy motel and treats her coolly. Danielle, insulted, realizes that he has discovered her past and abruptly ends the relationship. Matthew later attempts to apologize and reconcile, but Danielle believes that she will never be able to escape her past and decides to return to the adult industry. Matthew tracks Danielle down at an adult film convention in Las Vegas where Kelly, an adult film producer and Danielle's ex, menacingly warns Matthew not to interfere with his business. Matthew ignores him, convincing Danielle to leave the adult industry and begin their relationship anew.

Days later, an enraged Kelly abducts Matthew from school and physically assaults him, saying that Danielle's failure to film has cost him $30,000. Kelly offers to let Matthew erase his debt by stealing an award statuette from porn mogul Hugo Posh, but once Matthew has entered the house Kelly calls in a burglary report and leaves the premises. Matthew narrowly avoids the police and rushes to a scholarship award dinner. High on ecstasy that Kelly gave him as aspirin, he improvises a deeply sentimental speech. He endears himself to Danielle, but loses out on the scholarship.

Kelly exacts further revenge by posing as Matthew’s student advisor and stealing all the money Matthew raised for Samnang. Matthew fears that he will be implicated in the fraud and expelled from school. He turns to Danielle for help in recouping his losses. Danielle calls in two friends from her porn star days, and they agree to make a video for Hugo Posh on prom night using Matthew's classmates as actors. After the successful shoot, Danielle and Matthew have sex in their limousine. Despite Danielle's past, it is the first time she has truly made love.

The next morning, Eli calls Matthew in a panic, saying that the prom night tape has been stolen, jeopardizing their hopes of financial recovery. Matthew enters his house to find Kelly (in possession of the tape) talking with his parents and Principal Salinger. Kelly, in private, tells Matthew that unless he is given half of all profits, he will play the stolen tape immediately for Matthew's family. Matthew dares him to show the tape, saying that he no longer cares about his future, and Kelly obliges. Surprising everyone, Matthew and his friends have made a progressive, comprehensive sex ed tape rather than a porn film. With no more cards left to play, Kelly admits defeat as well as a grudging respect for Matthew.

Hugo Posh and Matthew make millions from the video. Hugo Posh pays for Samnang to come to the United States. Matthew has enough money to attend Georgetown and take Danielle to DC with him.



Critical response[edit]

The Girl Next Door received mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 56% approval rating based on reviews from 159 reviews, with an average score of 5.53/10. The site's consensus reads: "The movie borrows heavily from Risky Business, though Hirsch and Cuthbert are appealing leads."[9] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 47 based on 32 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10] Roger Ebert described it as a "nasty piece of business", and faulted movie studios for marketing the film as a teen comedy.[11]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $14,589,444 in the US, plus $15,821,739 outside the US, for a combined gross of $30,411,183.[4]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Subject Result Ref
2004 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Your Parents Didn't Want You to See The Girl Next Door Nominated [citation needed]
2005 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss Elisha Cuthbert and Emile Hirsch Nominated [12]
Best Breakthrough Performance Elisha Cuthbert Nominated [12]

Soundtrack listing[edit]


  1. ^ Rosen, Christopher (October 29, 2014). "The Juice Was Worth The Squeeze: Looking Back On 'The Girl Next Door'". The Huffington Post.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "The Girl Next Door (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The Girl Next Door (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  10. ^ "The Girl Next Door". Metacritic. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 9, 2004). "The Girl Next Door". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Cosgrove, Ben (2005-05-04). "Vicious Teens And Happy Drunk Lead 2005 MTV Movie Awards Nominees". Retrieved February 27, 2016.

External links[edit]